Posted by AZDuffman
Mar 07, 2013

Why do we even try?

So I am sitting at my desk, doing my work and a co-worker starts talking to someone walking by who used to live in Vegas. She mentions a place or something I am curious about and I get into the conversation. The conversation goes towards gaming. And is sadly predictable.

She says how some little old ladies play slots for hours and don't win, then someone makes one pull and empties the machine.

I reply how RNGs work and it doesn't matter.

"But I've seen it happen!"

Then she says you are crazy to play table games.

I reply the HE on Blackjack is about 1-3% and slots are 10%.

"But they can change dealers!"

I reply that is meaningless.

"But I've seen it happen, I USED TO LIVE THERE!"

I just let it go.

Why do we even try?


FleaStiff Mar 07, 2013

Many casino customers are there for social reasons and some are there for alcohol ... but all seem to have expert knowledge, particularly of the oxygen that is pumped into casinos!

aceofspades Mar 07, 2013

And don't forget they will always remind you that there are no clocks and the carpeting has imbedded subliminal messages to keep you playing!!!

RogerKint Mar 07, 2013

Why bother? Those people are the best people to gamble with. Today, while playing UTH, a guy hit a straight flush while betting 50 on the ante and trips bet. His total win was close to 5k. He gave everyone at the table a black chip because he believed it had something to do with the table card flow.

AZDuffman Mar 08, 2013

@Ace: Never heard that one about the carpet, that is a good one! Won't tell her that I have seen a huge clock in a casino, plus one with huge windows. Because, as she said, she lived there. Someone tell Wiz to change his business cards to "I live in Vegas" to show qualification and all that math he took was not needed!

To be fair, the clock was at a Canadian casino. But I guess switching dealers still works there?

onenickelmiracle Mar 15, 2013

This was one of my worst beliefs to break and it was as depressing. People want to believe this and confirmation bias supports the belief. If everyone was perfect, the whole world would have to change to the detriment of those who already know it isn't perfect. In other words, if all the money bet on slots, was bet on the pass line, all the casinos would go bankrupt.

Posted by AZDuffman
Jul 27, 2012

Was I a bad sport for using smart play?

I don't see what is wrong with doing this, but the reaction of about 1/3 of the room shows why we may be losing our competitive edge as a society in the USA.

We are having a mini-meeting as we do at the end of the day. Sometimes it is a briefing for the latest policy changes, and sometimes it is just a morale-building session since they have to hold them daily but if there is nothing important to do there is time to fill. So we are playing some trivia game, and do the old "I'm thinking of a number" routine to see who goes first. Here is how it goes:

Moderator: "I am thinking of a number between 1 and 10 closest guess wins, team A go first"
Team A: "2"
Moderator: "Not it, team B?"
AZD: "3!"
Moderator: "Number is 7, team B wins?!"

Now, the room was split with the girl on the other team looking at me as if to say, "how could you do that?" but others seeing the wisdom, one saying it was a classic TPIR gameplay. In these situations my strategy, if you need one for something so simple, when guessing first is to say "5" and then you lock the other side into < half the possible choices. If I guess second and they do not say 5, then I take the side with more possibility. It is not that I even cared about it, just that as a member of this site I am the type who tries to take a natural edge.

Am I crazy for thinking they are crazy for their "how could he do that?" reaction?


rdw4potus Jul 27, 2012

The point of the game is to be closest to the number. You just gave yourself the best chance to do that. Do the same people cry about returning to start in Sorry or about being skipped in Uno?

konceptum Jul 27, 2012

Of course they're going to be upset with you. Just like people get upset when it happens to them on The Price is Right. (careful, bad language)

SOOPOO Jul 27, 2012

Why did team A chose first? Perhaps you could have been proactive and suggested to the moderator that a coin be flipped, so that each team would have an equal chance? Since you KNEW that by selecting second your team would have an advantage unless the first team chose 5 or 6. Since the session was a 'morale boosting session' I think you should have chosen 1, to DECREASE your teams chance of winning, thus boosting the morale of everyone there, since in reality, there were not two 'teams', but one 'team', split into two groups. Your goal, it seems, should not have been to 'win' this, but rather, to 'boost morale'. I think the scenario you present does make you look bad. Think how good you would have looked if you said- "I'm picking 1, because if I pick 3 I have an unfair advantage to win!'. Or perhaps, "I'm picking 9, because now we both have an equal chance to win!"

EvenBob Jul 28, 2012

Obviously the moderator gave you a huge edge not

available to the first person. As soon as he said the first

guess was wrong, somebody should have cried foul. Its

the fault of the first guesser fo letting the game continue.

Would the casino let the BJ dealer tell everyone that she

doesn't have a face card? I don't think so.

FinsRule Jul 28, 2012

Maybe she wanted to go 2nd and tricked you into taking the bait...

AZDuffman Jul 29, 2012

The moderator said for the other team to go first. If they can't play "pick a number" by age 10 that is their fault.

onenickelmiracle Mar 15, 2013

Funny to think about there are only two correct answers if first to pick, 5 or 6.

Posted by AZDuffman
Jul 13, 2012

Joke for today, why you never heard a crank call tape made by math geeks

This actually cane to me while driving to work, they should do a scene of it in "The Big Bang Theory" or a similar show..........

Crank call by "burnouts"

Baretender: "Hello"
Burnout" "Is Al there? Last name Coholic?"
Background: "hahahahaha"
Bartender: "Why you little, if I catch you beat you into a coma!"
Burnout: (laughter)

Crank call by "Math Geeks"

Bartender: "Hello?"
Math Geek: "Yes is Al there? Last name "Gorithim?"
Background: (silence)
Bartender: Sorry, sir he isn't here
Math Geek: uh, thanks, sorry to bother you


buzzpaff Jul 13, 2012

Are you related to Bart Simpson ?

Juyemura Jul 13, 2012

I chuckled.

Posted by AZDuffman
Apr 15, 2012

Do we need to teach dice-throwing in college?

I just need to vent on this a little, because I just can't understand what is so diffcult about it.

Working the dice table at a party. 3rd year in a row at this party, fairly high-level of society. Maybe I am dealing well because two people ask me "where do you usually deal?" one of whom was in survalence at the real casino. Maybe they just are making conversation.

Anyhoo, woman at the table at immediate right of 2nd base. Crowd at table is large enough that I can answer questions but cannot give individual tutoring. She has been there long enough to see me pass the dice twice. Dice are at say what would be stickman's immediate left, and 2-3 players between next shooter and her.\

"I would like to throw the dice now!"

Never had that before. Now, an intelligent person would see they are being moved around in an order. Some players had trouble grasping the game, but you should see the dice are moving player to player.

"I have to send them around the table in an order, M'amm.

She stops making line bets until they come to her. Fine, wants to save her chips and be able to throw them. Finally they make their way to her and I explain she has to make a line bet to throw them.

"NO ROLL!" Dice off the table.

Next few rolls I swear she knocked over some stack or another each and every time.

Why can't people manage to throw dice on a table?


FinsRule Apr 15, 2012

I brought a friend to the casino. It was her first time playing craps. She watches everyone roll, then takes her turn. Drops the dice right in front of her. Yoleven. Of course. Dealer says "Winner! Ma'am please hit the wall next time"

odiousgambit Apr 15, 2012

>Why can't people manage to throw dice on a table?

Aw, she was off her stride a bit because you short-sticked her!

FleaStiff Apr 15, 2012

Drunk? Fatigue? Ornery?

One Vegas pundit said we need another war to teach everyone how to shoot craps.

rudeboy99 Apr 20, 2012

I always get a chuckle when a brand new (I mean virgin) dice shooter throws one off the game and immediately hollers "SAME DICE!!!"

Posted by AZDuffman
Jan 02, 2012

Coin flip results and reflections

Here are the final numbers and we have to say bad, bad coins!

Raw result: 118-123-11
P&L: ($2264)

But how bad? Not much worse that you would expect for a coin! Ignoring pushes which are the bookmakers doing, coins were correct .489 of the time. I'll let someone here who is better at advanced math than me (many of you) calculate how many standard deviations away from an true random result that is if they want to spend the time, but if you consider a coin flip should give .500 we were .011 away from that! Put another way, the coins missed by 5 games in a 17 week season, meaning they were off by less than 1/3 of a game a week. In fact, going into week 17 we were at EXACTLY .500! So though we had some volitality, if you want a true 50/50 shot over a season a coin flip would not be a bad way to go.

But we do not want 50/50, we want to win cash! This was not a the coin's season there as the coin was NEVER AHEAD. We came within 1 game of being ahead for some time, but never went positive. Taking a basic -110 vig of the $2264 we lost, three quarters was pure juice. (118 wins * $90 per win = $10620 in wins. $1230 in losses less the wins is $1680 for the book.) To be honest, this suprised even me. I know how juice works and I know how it has to be overcome, but to see it drain you over an entire season like that is amazing. This could be why the local bookie may drive a Buick instead of a Cadillac lest his players realize just what he is making.

So how about in just picking games? We all have had the aggrivation of taking time on the office-pool sheet only to have someone oblivious spend 30 seconds on it and end up winning, and having to be told they won at that! In our pool ncfatcat came in first, congrats, with 139 correct picks. I came in last of the active-til-the-end players with 119 correct (I missed 1-2 thursday games so will not use all totals.) 20 games difference or just 1.2 games per week. Yes, if I used the oppisite side of the coin I would have been at least contending for first! Think about that. I used a season-grid to keep records, but had I said, "Tails this winner" instead of "heads this winner" the coin would have taken at least second place, first if I didn't miss a few games and was right. Moral here is that if you do play an office pick-em game consider using a coin-method and you have as good a chance as anyone.

Back to dealing with the book. We had some issue with changes at our sponsor Bodog now Bovada. First with late lines then with changing quotes to the point that I used the BetUS site. (Sorry, Wiz, I tried to use the sponsor the whole way.) One trend I did see was early lines tend to punish the player with heavy juice (-125 in some cases) and wild lines. Later in the week this settles down and Bodog was a heavier "juice bully" than BetUS seemed to be. If Bovada keeps this policy will remain to be seen. I can say that the coins would have been up at a point in the season had I line-shopped, which I did not do at all.

So lets sum it all up. What did we learn or confirm with all of this?

First, it says that picking every game is in itself a coin-flip! If I just used the oppisite result I'd have near-taken the pool (NOTE: I did not even look at the lines in the pool so results there will not match those here numbers-wise, but I still made the same picks.)

Second, knowing this it confirms *YOU CANNOT WIN IF YOU BET TOO MANY GAMES!* I was off by 5 games over a season. Flip it over and we would still have been down $1700 for the season. Coin was never ahead and nearer the end of the season never got close. The juice, well, juiced the results to death.

Finally, what do you need to do if you do decide to bet every or near every game? Well, a bookie with a juice-rebate would be important. As is line-shopping. Had we line-shopped and had some juice-rebate or/and action bonuses results might have gotten near even. Look for the bonus programs.

Now, it is up to you for all next year. This isn't a lot of work, but it does take a bit of my time. Please state if anyone is still reading and would like to see a sequal next season. As you don't repeat for a sequal, next year would be "coin martingale" where if we were behind at the end of a week, units would double the next and if we were ahead we would bet the base unit again. We would look for how deep in the red you would have to withstand to make it work? It would be a "perfect world" simulation where we would assume unlimited credit before a bunch of bookies and shylocks came looking for you. (maybe even assume juice to the shylock?)


PapaChubby Jan 04, 2012

I have enjoyed watching your experiment unfold throughout the season. Thanks for taking the time.

kmumf Jan 05, 2012

I also enjoyed this thanks for doing it.

AZDuffman Jan 06, 2012

Thanks for the feedback, might do coin-sports-martingale next year

Knuckleball3 Feb 08, 2012

Cool experiment, I wonder what the numbers could have been had you shopped for lines for each matchup. Could be something to loook into for next one.